Top 4 Common Plumbing Problems in Every Household
Hey again, it’s Mike from THA’s plumbing division.
Last time, I wrote my very first plumbing post on the three biggest plumbing problems I’ve seen and how to fix them right away. You can read about that here.
In this week’s post, I’ll be sharing with you the top for common plumbing problems I’ve encountered, the causes for those problems, and the best way to handle the situation.
Let’s get started.
Common Plumbing Problem #1 – Low Water Pressure
Have you ever turned on the faucet, half-expecting a strong stream of water, to only discover that it was a big (and a very drippy) disappointment? This tends to be a big problem for those who live in older homes, but there have been a few occasions where I’ve seen this happen in upscale, modern homes as well.
The cause of low water pressure come in different ways, but based on my experience, it comes down to these two:
- A clogged aerator
- Your home’s piping system
Typically, a clogged aerator is the most common problem out of the two. This occurs when sediment and minerals like calcium get built up in your aerator.
Luckily, it’s one of the easiest forms of preventative maintenance, too. With vinegar, wash thoroughly (for faucets) or by soaking (shower heads) overnight.
A little on the rare side, if you’re experiencing low water pressure due to a leak or a break, this can potentially destroy the foundation of your home. Call your local plumber to address this emergency right away.
Common Plumbing Problem #2 – No Hot Water
Imagine this: You came home from a busy day at work and you’re ready to take a nice, relaxing, warm shower. As soon as you turn it on, however, you’re drenched in cold water instead.
Pretty cold, right?
It’s often times like these when we appreciate our water heaters, tankless or not. Although the average lifespan of a water heater is 8 to 12 years, it’s always a good idea to start your own preventative maintenance regardless if it’s new or not.
When your shower water spouts cold water instead of hot, one of the most common solutions to this plumbing problem is to turn your water heater’s pilot light on. However, if you experience some hot water, this can indicate a few things:
- Your water tank needs to be cleaned of sediment buildup
- A faulty thermocouple or pilot light
- Thermostat issues
If this does happen to be the issue, don’t try to repair it on your own. Water heaters can be dangerous to work with, so I highly recommend calling your plumber for your own safety.
Common Plumbing Problem #3 – Leaking Pipes
Fun fact: Pipe leaks are one of the most common causes for your rising water bill and are a huge waste of water. In fact, a 1/8 inch leak can waste 250 gallons per day!
In addition, the non-stop dripping water can lead to costly renovations later down the road and can bring in unwanted pests like cockroaches and ants inside your home.
Based on my experience, this common plumbing problem tends to happen during the colder, winter seasons and are more likely to affect older, ageing plumbing systems versus a newly installed one.
Leaks of this type are most likely to happen around the pipe joints. Although it’s a temporary fix, you can purchase commercial joint fillers, tape, or compounds to seal the leak before you decide to have it repaired by a professional.
However, if your pipe is leaking during the winter, call your plumber right away; if left unattended, your pipes may burst due to the frozen water expanding inside.
Common Plumbing Problem #4 – Jammed Garbage Disposals
Although garbage disposals are useful, they’re still susceptible to the occasional jam. Usually this is caused by a few things such as:
- Not running it down with water when in use
- Disposing food like corn husks and potato skins
- Silverware of any kind
Luckily, your reset button should be able to resolve the problem.
In addition, you can use the key that was given to you by the previous homeowner to unjam the garbage disposal. If you do happen to lose the key, use an Allen wrench to free the motor that’s located at the bottom of the disposal. Just insert it through the opening, twist it both ways, and you’ve successfully unjammed your garbage disposal.
Whether you’re familiar to home DIY projects or if you’re just starting out, it’s always important to stay safe as you’re going about your preventative maintenance. Before starting, make sure your water source is turned off and clear the area around you.
If you ever bump into a problem that seems way too dangerous (i.e. water heaters), don’t be afraid to ask for professional advice or hire your local plumber.
Do you live in San Diego and are in need of an HVAC or plumbing service? Call (858) 571-8865 to schedule your next repair, install, or anything else in between today!